Blue Moon Over Bliss Lake
Blue Moon Series 1
Contemporary holiday novella
About 40,000 words
Blue Moon Series 1
Blue Moon Over Bliss Lake
by Cate Masters
Home for the holidays…
Sierra O’Brien and Carter Grove have a lot of history—and regrets between them. Their high school romance didn’t survive after he went away to college. Despite tremendous business success, Carter never found another woman like Sierra and has two failed marriages to prove it. Sierra’s luck wasn’t much better, but after being widowed, she heads back to Bliss to plan her future. The last thing either expected was to run into each other or to reconnect to the magic that once drew them together.
Can Sierra and Carter make it work this time or are they doomed to repeat the past and let the same mistakes drive them apart? In Bliss, the inexplicable is an everyday occurrence, and anything is possible—especially during a blue moon.
Enjoy the following excerpt for BLUE MOON OVER BLISS LAKE:
Ensconced in soft down, Sierra floated down from her dreams, the one place she always found safety. Her body acknowledged the bed, the sunshine stinging her eyes drawing her back toward reality. Reluctantly, she pried open one then blinked both open. After a moment of confusion, she knew where she was: home. In Bliss.
Dreams of Carter had helped make the night blissful, too. While she rose and puttered around, making the bed, a vivid image of him stayed in her mind. How the heck had a decade improved his looks? Carter 2.0. Oh yeah, he’d love that, with all his cutting-edge technological developments, he’d become one of Steve Jobs’ main competitors. Unlike Jobs, Carter’s sharp, professional appearance lent an unapproachable air, the expensive suit he’d worn the day before cut so well to his figure it looked tailor-made. It probably was. The soft fabric had surprised her. So had the taut muscles beneath the suit. Carter kept himself in shape. He had everything in life he could possibly need. A pang of regret sliced through her.
Or did he? She headed to the bathroom and twisted the faucet knob. Steam began to fill the small bathroom as she stepped inside the shower. It hadn’t escaped her notice when Forbes listed him in its Top 40 Under 40. She’d been happy for his success, but something about those media photos grabbed her attention, and she lingered over them. His smile appeared too rehearsed, empty of happiness. Sometimes pictures showed a woman clinging to him, her embrace cloying and possessive rather than loving.
Toweling off, she tried to remember his current wife’s name. It escaped her; he’d married at least twice. A bitter chuckle escaped and she wiped the mirror free of steam a little harder than necessary. And you thought you were the love of his life. Obviously, he didn’t have one—he had many.
She frowned at her hazy reflection. After reading another article she’d run across online in some pretentious magazine like Architectural Digest, she’d questioned whether she ever really knew the man. His wife—Barbara, maybe?—had had their initials monogrammed on everything throughout their McMansion. A beautiful place, but cold. Overbearing. Nothing like the boy she’d once loved.
You’re not exactly the same girl either. Gaunt face, pale skin, and dark circles beneath her eyes. Not for long. Carter had made his mark on the world and she intended to do the same. Much smaller than his, of course, but she didn’t need to conquer the universe. A state or two might be nice, though.
“Oh, Carter.” He’d left his mark on her, too. Ten years melted away when she’d seen him the day before, the two minutes leaving a vivid impression. Throughout the night, in the haze of sleep, memories of the two years they’d shared filled her with sublime happiness. How bright the future had appeared then.
She straightened. It will be. A little late, but starting over would give her the opportunity to make it better this time.
Okay third straight contemporary this year that totally blew me away. This is why straight contemporary romance is my go-to genre to read. Ms. Masters has written a beautiful second chance romance that at times is heartbreaking, sweet and funny. Plus, watching Carter and Sierra grow as a couple but most importantly as individuals is a feat that some authors get wrong. Ms. Masters didn’t get it wrong, she got it right.
There is no insta “I’m in love with you again”, or “I missed you so much, let’s have sex right.this.minute. because I can’t live without you’. These two at to work at getting back together. Especially Carter. He had the most to lose when he decided to make a lifestyle change. This is one of the best things that Ms. Masters did. Carter, at least to me, was the character that needed to realize what was important and obviously his soon to be ex wasn’t it and boy was she a doozy. That girl was bat s*it crazy with her show but she got…*sorry, almost a spoiler* Watching Carter re-connect with his brother and sister is great, too. Plus, one would think that he never really cared about his parents at all. You need to read the book to find out how that all played out but again…Ms. Masters wrote it realistically and honestly.
Sierra’s backstory was a bit more complex. After the break up with Carter is married a complete douche and then ends up a widow. Coming back home isn’t a curse or something evil to her. She needed Bliss, her parents and the coffee shop. What she didn’t expect to find was Carter standing at a rest stop and then seeing him pop all over town.
The great thing about Carter and Sierra is that they didn’t fall into bed together. They knew that sex wasn’t the answer to their problems. Communication and getting to know each other but more importantly, themselves after all those years apart. Again, character growth that was realistic written and drawn out. I love Ms. Masters characters. They could be anyone that you know. She never writes a character that you can’t relate to or know in your real life. 🙂 Plus, watching Carter jumps through hoops to win back Sierra…priceless.
The secondary characters in the book are just as good as Carter and Sierra. In fact, the lake itself is a character and just wait until you hear…*dang, almost a spoiler* Let’s just say that the owner of the property that lines Bliss Lake is a hoot and I can’t wait to see more of her. I still haven’t figured out who the next book will be about but I can’t wait. I want more of Carter and Sierra. Their story is sweet, realistic and I must find out about the soon to be ex…again. I don’t we have seen the last of her.
About the Author:
Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
An ebook from one of Cate’s backlist from Decadent